fbpx
Favorites

© 2022 BVM Sports. Best Version Media, LLC.

Favorites

Hit or error? MLB official scorers work remotely thru virus

Hit or error? MLB official scorers work remotely thru virus
Mets Yankees Baseball - AP Photo/Kathy Willens

MIAMI (AP) — As an official scorer for Major League Baseball, Ron Jernick has worked at the World Series, the All-Star Game and the World Baseball Classic.

This season he’ll work at home.

Baseball is back, but because of the coronavirus, official scorers this season will rule remotely on hits and errors and other plays.

Perhaps none will be more remote than Jernick, a fixture in the Miami Marlins press box since 1999. He lives three hours north in the Melbourne area.

MLB is limiting the number of people at the ballpark, including in the press box, and decided official scorers could make their calls without seeing the game in person.

“There are a lot of roles that have historically been in the ballpark that we had to look at, and the official scorer was a tough one,” said Chris Marinak, MLB executive vice president for strategy, technology and innovation. “When we looked at the job, and the technology available to them, we felt like they can do the entire job they have to do from home.”

Some in baseball are skeptical, although they say they understand health and safety must be the priority.

Scorers will have access to an unprecedented number of video feeds, accessing the same infrastructure used for replay reviews. When they want to replay a play they can choose their camera angle, and zoom in and rewind.

But no opportunity to go down to the clubhouse after the game, to talk to the player or a manager for further illumination.

Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona said the game slows down as an observer gets farther away from the action, which affects judgment on deciding whether a play should be a hit or an error. So he’s not keen on scorers working from home.

“Probably a touch unfair to the official scorer, which could end up affecting the players,” Francona said. “It’s tough enough to be an official scorer when you’re sitting up high. When you get down low and you see actually how fast the ball’s moving or the hops it’s taking or the topspin, you get a much better version of what’s really happening.

“I know any time you slow it down and watch it again, it always looks like an error. But you have to remember, that player is not allowed to slow it down.”

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts agreed.

“The speed of the game, seeing it in real time with your own eyes in front of you I think matters,” Roberts said.

Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas, on the other hand, believes decisions by scorers will improve.

“They can take their time and watch the replay and see how hard the play was to make, and how hard it was hit,” Rojas said. “I feel like it’s going to be a little bit more accurate.”

One point of agreement is that for the scorers it’s a big change. Many have been at the job for decades, with Boston’s Chaz Scoggins believed to be the leader in continuous service. He worked his first game at Fenway Park in 1979.

MLB asked scorers not to discuss with the media the switch to working remotely. But one thing is certain: The change will provide fresh fodder for second-guessers, and there are plenty when it comes to official scoring.

“It’s a thankless job,” Detroit Tigers broadcaster Dan Dickerson said. “I mean my goodness, all you hear about are complaints.”

Longtime Marlins broadcaster and former player Tommy Hutton has been known to question a call or three. He noted the dynamics of making a hit-or-error decision will change with the scorers not in the press box, where rulings can elicit groans.

“They won’t have others around them making suggestions,” Hutton said. “You always had, say with the Nationals in town, the scorer calls an error, and the Nationals’ PR guy thinks his guy should have gotten a hit, so sometimes he would go down to the scorer and say, ’Hey, you’d better rethink that.’”

The process to reverse a call — which happens occasionally, even after a game has ended — will remain the same. Marinak believes because scorers will have access to so many camera angles, the number of decisions reversed may decline.

“We felt like we have a good shot at doing an excellent job of this remotely,” Marinak said. “We’re all really confident it’s going to go smoothly. You never know until you try it.”

So the scorers will render their rulings from the study or porch or kitchen table, the decision then debated by countless would-be official scorers also watching while safe at home.

___

AP Sports Writers Noah Trister and Tom Withers and freelancer Doug Padilla contributed to this report.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

___

Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Steve_Wine

Get local sports news direct to your inbox

Originals

more
Bayliss Flynn makes history with NIL deal

Bayliss Flynn makes history with NIL deal

Bayliss Flynn made history in Minnesota by becoming the first high school athlete to sign…

Bengals RB Trayveon Williams to teach at Texas A&M

Bengals RB Trayveon Williams to teach at Texas A&M

Cincinnati Bengals running back Trayveon Williams will be a co-professor of a course for the…

Francesco Capocci brings helping attitude to UNC baseball

Francesco Capocci brings helping attitude to UNC baseball

Francesco Capocci grew up with North Carolina as his dream school. Now he is a…

A.J. Tisdell joins Badgers’ Class of 2023 recruiting class

A.J. Tisdell joins Badgers’ Class of 2023 recruiting class

A.J. Tisdell can shine in Wisconsin under Jim Leonhard.

Ajani Sheppard: From one year starter to Old Dominion commit

Ajani Sheppard: From one year starter to Old Dominion commit

Iona Preparatory quarterback Ajani Sheppard rose from no Division I offers to more than a…

Northwestern commit Tyler Gant fueled by success on and off field

Northwestern commit Tyler Gant fueled by success on and off field

Three-star Class of 2023 defensive lineman Tyler Gant will look to continue his athletic and…

Nathan Rourke off to record-setting start for BC Lions

Nathan Rourke off to record-setting start for BC Lions

Taking over as the starting quarterback of the BC Lions, former Ohio University standout Nathan…

Mitch Voit is living out a dream with Michigan baseball

Mitch Voit is living out a dream with Michigan baseball

Mitch Voit is about to live out his dream of being a Michigan Wolverine and…

Larissa Preuitt ready to represent ‘dream school’ Alabama

Larissa Preuitt ready to represent ‘dream school’ Alabama

Alabama's reigning Gatorade softball POY is ready to help the Crimson tide win their first…

GG Jackson ready to fill ‘big shoes’ at UNC as No. 1 recruit

GG Jackson ready to fill ‘big shoes’ at UNC as No. 1 recruit

GG Jackson’s athletic frame and winning mindset have made him the No. 1 player in…

Why QB Nico Iamaleava should be ranked over Arch Manning

Why QB Nico Iamaleava should be ranked over Arch Manning

Nico Iamaleava may not have the same name recognition as other quarterbacks in his class,…

Sam Kennedy is ready for Minnesota baseball

Sam Kennedy is ready for Minnesota baseball

Sam Kennedy is one of the best pitchers in the state of Minnesota and he…

Louisville commit Nick Drtina leads Nazareth to championship

Louisville commit Nick Drtina leads Nazareth to championship

Louisville commit Nick Drtina led a young and talented Nazareth Academy team to new heights…

Matthew Etzel’s DI dreams come true thanks to Panola

Matthew Etzel’s DI dreams come true thanks to Panola

Matthew Etzel’s dream of playing DI baseball is coming true.

Will Levis’ QB origin story to being a Kentucky Wildcat

Will Levis’ QB origin story to being a Kentucky Wildcat

Will Levis has become the face of the Kentucky football program and a potential first-round…

Atalyia Rijo bringing star-power to Arkansas softball

Atalyia Rijo bringing star-power to Arkansas softball

The top-ranked softball player in the state of New York and recent Gatorade Player of…

Isaac Howard excited for NHL Draft before UMD hockey debut

Isaac Howard excited for NHL Draft before UMD hockey debut

Isaac Howard has one stop at the 2022 NHL Draft before he heads to Duluth…

Brooks Lee brings San Luis Obispo pride to MLB Draft

Brooks Lee brings San Luis Obispo pride to MLB Draft

Brooks Lee has become a role model in his hometown of San Luis Obispo. With…

Arch Manning, No. 1 recruit in 2023 class, commits to Texas

Arch Manning, No. 1 recruit in 2023 class, commits to Texas

Arch Manning announced on Twitter that he will be continuing his football career at the…

Evan Chaffee making jump to Alabama, SEC baseball

Evan Chaffee making jump to Alabama, SEC baseball

Evan Chaffee's journey from Hamburg to becoming an Alabama baseball commit heavily involved Vanderbilt, an…